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Architectural History

View of Chicago Loop, 2009, Photo Virginia Raguin

One of the burning questions of the twenty-first century is the ultimate impact of human existence on the environment.  What kind of world have we built, and is it one which can be sustained?   An attempt to understand and assess the impact of human construction, or the built environment, provides the foundation of the program in Architectural Studies.  In order to better address such questions, the program encourages an investigation of the history and practice of building around the world.  Indeed, Architectural Studies considers architecture as a transformative agent that shapes history, society, and culture.  As a introduction to architecture, this program provides a way to explore many far-reaching questions. We spend the majority of our lives in buildings, and by better understanding these settings that frame our existence we gain a better understanding of different societies and also of ourselves. Architectural Studies also operates in conjunction with our College's mission statement, which emphasizes responsible citizenship as a key part of the liberal arts education.


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